May 26, 2018
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Working moms: ‘Me time’ — are you getting any?

Haley Regent, left, shows her frustration while doing her math homework with her mother, Debbie Regent in 2012. Weston, Fla., resident Debbie Regent, 48, a working parent with two girls, supervises her children's homework.
By Kris Hey, Orlando Sentinel

As working mothers, we spend a lot of time focusing on the needs of our children and our jobs.

With school out for the summer and my son at camp during weekdays, my life is a bit more crazy than usual lately.

I am sure many of you working moms understand. Summer may mean no homework, but in its place are all kinds of other things that must be worked out if you have a child in daycare. Coordinating early days and work schedules, packing lunches and snacks, packing the bathing suit and towel for swim day (now, which day is swim day again?), and my personal annoyance: when camp is at a different location not even close to camp’s regular site one day a week.

I don’t know about you, but especially during the summer, I need my “me time.” That means a few uninterrupted hours alone to do what I want. I need this for my sanity. I use the time to take a hot bath, watch a movie, binge-watch TV, take a nap (I nap both weekend days, by the way, and support this practice), read a book, tend to my garden, get a pedicure or go shopping.

I wondered if and how my working-mom friends find time for themselves and what they did with it. Here are some of their responses.

Jeannie, who has boys, tries to get “me time” in a few times a week. “It may be a night that I don’t sit around with the boys watching Nick or playing games, instead I read or watch a show I want to watch. Occasionally, I go out with a friend for a glass of wine and adult conversation at a time I would typically be with the boys,” she said. Her favorite time is afternoon sunbathing with a light novel and a cocktail while the kids are entertained and fed by someone else. “These things are essential for my sanity, and a sane me makes a better mom.”

I totally agree.

For a long time, Amy, a coworker did not get “me time,” she said, but once her son hit fifth grade she started getting more. She spent that time getting her nails done or walking the mall. Now that her son is almost 14, she said she gets more time for herself. “It is usually spent veggin’ on the couch,” she said.

Another friend, Linda, said she didn’t get a lot of time for herself in the past, but now she finds the time and reads books. “It felt like I found myself again,” she said.

Amy, a former coworker, works from home and her “me time” comes after her three kids go to bed. “It usually involves me going to bed by 9 p.m.”

My childhood friend, Julia, takes really long showers because it’s the only place she can have quiet time, she said. And, sometimes she pretends she’s asleep on Saturday mornings and just lies in bed. (I hope her kids don’t see this and ruin her quiet time. Also, I think this is brilliant, and I am going to try this method. Good thinking, Julia.)

Katie, another friend, Linda and Julia also count grocery shopping as “me time.” I agree and do what Katie does: Put on my music with my iPhone and tune the world out while I shop. (I hate grocery shopping, by the way. Not as much as I hate housecleaning, but it comes pretty close.)

How about you? Are you fitting any “me time” into your schedule?

©2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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